Happy Sun’s Day
We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.
We also don’t take an offering here. We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it. Let’s be honest, offerings are not given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it. Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.
Theme Song: “Viking War Song – Fehu” – Wardruna
There have been a lot of really shitty things that were legal for people to do. Legal is no metric for right and wrong. Truth and Justice are not about what is legal.
If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.
It is at this point, that I hope that why I am going through the history of the Germanic/Scandinavian religion that it will be clear why the modern movement of Asatru is necessary as a reconstructionist effort. The main cause is that the Christians were very good a wiping out paganism for the most part. It certainly made sure that whatever aspects of paganism that survived had to 1) go underground or 2) hide in the midst of Christian tradition.
As a former Christian pastor, I lived with a couple very terrible bits of historical revelation. 1) That the spread of Christianity was due in large part to missionary efforts that involved bribery, diplomacy and violence more than the truth of the religion as it stands on its own, and 2) That these tactics have continued to the present day. There is what Jesus taught and what Christianity does to spread the faith, and they are miles apart. Light years really.
Paganism in the middle ages started to face a new invasion from a religion that was relentless in its missionary zeal. The basic tactic of Christians was to approach a ruler and offer them salvation in the church. The offer was often sweetened by the fact if that ruler was facing an opponent that was difficult or wanted some sort of help in a conflict they were having with a neighbor, conversion to Christianity brought church financial support as well as the support of Chrisitan allies as they went after those ‘unwashed’ heathens.
Inside each new ruler’s country then the process would start of identifying pagan practices, making them illegal and then purging the pagan practices and if necessary the pagans themselves. There are stories that survive of the slaughter of heathens on a grand scale, destruction of pagan sacred sites and the seizing of pagan property which found its way either into the church’s hands or the ruler of the country. There came a tipping point in Europe where it was either join the church or die and many chose to join the church. A few brave souls chose to die with honor along with their countrymen.
The problem for those who now follow Asatru with all this is that Christianity was very effective in wiping out a lot of the old ways to the point that much has been lost. Asatru is a reconstructionist movement at its heart trying to search out and find things that were lost and then restore them.
It is only recently in the history of the world that some countries have added the Norse/Germanic religions to their list of accepted state religions and thus opening up even the ability to try. For the most part up until then, pagan practices survived by bastardizing their practices by combining them with Christian ones. See Easter’s bunny and Christmas’ trees and lights. Or they went underground passed secretly from one generation to the next. Some things survived in ancient writings and mythology. This is why Asatru is necessary as it is trying to put back into place what has long been lost.
For myself, I knew all these things as a Christian for many years about what my faith had done but justified it. Now, I call it out for what it is – gross hypocrisy. I would also say that Christianity has acted in greed, malice, and lust but called it manifest destiny, the divine right of kings (government), and missionary zeal. They really should be ashamed of their history, but they go on merrily talking about how loving and humble they are and a force for ‘civilization’. There is nothing very civilized about running a sword through someone simply because they have a different faith than you.
The problem for me is I live with a Chrisitan and my family is mostly Christian. They are good people and for the most part ignorant of their religion’s history. That said, I know that their faith has blood on its hands going back quite a bit and in some contexts, they would, because of their faith, do some pretty shitty things to others. For Me, Asatru is about getting back to my spiritual roots before Christianity came into my ancestors’ lives and changed things. It is about finding that which is lost and restoring it back to my weary soul.
An obvious note in Asatru. Loyalty is, but not obedience. That belong to the religions that expect blind loyalty and servitude. We are free people and respect and allegiance are earned.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.